There is no question that the world of digital marketing is changing. With the rise of online courses, people are looking for more convenient ways to learn. Thanks to platforms like Udemy and Coursera, as well as the various e-learning platforms, online courses are becoming more and more accessible.
Being able to market and sell an online course to existing and potential students is a great opportunity. However, if you want to maximize that opportunity, you need to stand out from the crowd. Fortunately, there are several proven tactics you can use to achieve that goal. In this article, we will discuss four of them.
1. Developing a clear vision and mission for your online course
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already in the process of creating an online course. If not, don’t worry – you’re not alone. In order to create an effective digital marketing plan for your online course, you first need to develop a clear vision and mission for it. What are you trying to achieve? What is your course about? What do you want students to leave the course with?
To put it simply, you need to have a clear idea of what you’re trying to sell and why someone should buy it. The course should reflect that. It should include everything from a clear outline of the course content to a summary of how each lesson will make students better at what they do.
The most important thing to keep in mind here is that this is not a sales pitch. You’re not trying to convince someone to buy your product – you’re trying to convince them to listen to your message and to take action.
2. Identifying your target audience and creating buyer personas
An online course is simply an online version of a traditional classroom course. The vast majority of students will follow the same process of learning as they would in a face-to-face course, albeit from the comfort of their homes.
As with any type of marketing, you need to find your target audience and define who they are. There are a few different ways to do this. You can start by taking a look at your existing customers or potential customers and try to understand what they want. You can also ask friends and family who have never heard of your product or service to help you define the user group. Or, you can simply walk in the shoes of a normal user and think like them. What do they want? What are their needs?
Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can create buyer personas. These are ideal customers who will commit to your course and be willing to try out your product or service. They should mirror the characteristics of your ideal customers. The more you know about your target audience – their needs, wants, and behaviors – the better you can connect with them and position your course correctly in the marketplace. You need to find a balance between being specific and being general in your buyer personas. For example, if you’re focusing on females in your target audience, but also want to include men who identify as female, you might end up with something like this:
“Annabelle is an independent, ambitious woman who is looking to start her own business”
“Chris is a calm, calculating individual who always wants to make the right decision”
Although this might seem like overkill, creating specific buyer personas is extremely crucial if you want to sell a custom product to a specific audience. Otherwise, you might find yourself in the situation of selling a product to the general public with no clear picture of who the product is intended for. This often results in a misunderstanding on both sides, and all kinds of problems. So, be careful when creating your buyer personas.
3. Determining the size of your audience
This one is pretty self-explanatory. You need to determine the size of your audience. You can do this in a number of ways, depending on what makes the most sense for your product. You can use online tools like Google Analytics to determine the demographic information about your audience. You can also look at your email database and see how many people signed up for your newsletter or email course. Or, you can simply ask your customers for their demographic information. For example, “How many people are in your target audience? ” “How old is your target audience? ” “What country are you targeting?”
As for the other pieces of advice in this article, they all revolve around making your course stand out from the crowd. By now, you should have a decent idea of what your course is about and you should have created a vision and mission for it. The next step is to make that vision and mission reality. To do that, you need to follow through and create a solid marketing plan. By applying the 4 steps discussed here, you will be able to create an effective marketing plan and stand out from the crowd. Good luck!